Closing Update: Healthcare Stocks Lead Markets to Narrow Gains Although Nasdaq Composite Falls Just Short of Positive Ground

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Stocks eased to a mixed finish Wednesday, with the Dow Industrials and the S&P 500 index again both finishing at record highs but the Nasdaq Composite index losing ground just before the close to finish with a tiny loss.

The markets were buoyed by higher forecasts for June payrolls after the ADP private hiring report this morning crushed market expectations. Dovish comments from Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen during a speech at an International Monetary Fund conference in Washington, D.C., also contributed to a moderately bullish mood.

Still, trading was often subdued ahead of tomorrow's payroll report for June with winners narrowly outpacing losers. Healthcare stocks were the lone industry sector to solidly build gains throughout the session although shares of consumer, technology and material companies also finished with small increases. Utility stocks continued their recent retreat, giving in to more profit-taking following a 5% advance for the group last month.

Crude oil for August delivery settled 24 cents lower at $104.24 per barrel while August natural gas added a penny to finish at $4.37 per 1 million BTU. August gold rose $5.40 to $1331 per ounce while September silver climbed 20 cents to $21.31 per ounce. July copper jumped another 7 cents to $3.27 per pound.

Here's where the U.S. markets stand at the end-of-day:

NYSE Composite Index up 3.71 (+0.03%) to 11,050.33

Dow Jones Industrial Average up 20.17 (+0.1%) to 16,976.24

S&P 500 up 1.36 (+0.07%) to 1,974.68

Nasdaq Composite Index down 0.92 (-0.02%) to 4,457.73

GLOBAL SENTIMENT

Nikkei 225 Index up 0.29%

Hang Seng Index up 1.55%

Shanghai China Composite Index up 0.44%

FTSE 100 Index up 0.20%

CAC 40 down 0.37%

DAX up 0.09%

NYSE SECTOR INDICES

NYSE Energy Sector Index up 0.28%

NYSE Financial Sector Index up 0.06%

NYSE Healthcare Sector Index up 0.27%

UPSIDE MOVERS

(+) VITC, Agrees to $280 mln buyout by Kroger ( KR ), with VITC shareholders receiving $8 per share in cash for each share they now own.

(+) ZGNX, Expects to file supplemental drug application for its Zohydro ER pain-killer with new abuse deterrents by October following a recent meeting with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

(+) SFLY, The online photo company may be on the auction block, recently hiring Qatalyst Partners to help find potential buyers, sources tell Bloomberg News.

DOWNSIDE MOVERS

(-) CAMP, Outlook for Q2 adjusted EPS trails Street consensus by at least $0.01 while projected revenue lags estimates by at least $1.36 mln. Adjusted Q1 EPS of

$0.19 beats by $0.01. Q1 Revenue rise 9.9% to $59 mln, tops analyst views by $960,000.

(-) GPRO, Falls for the first time in five sessions after Dougherty & Co. rates the company as a Buy with a $28 price target but analyst Charlie Anderson also cautions during TV interview its multiples already are "up there in the stratosphere."

(-) MCP, Seeking Alpha contributor agrues stock is due for severe dilution with the molybdenum miner slated to run out of cash during first three months of 2015 and the MCP board already authorized to issue up to 350 mln shares.



The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of The NASDAQ OMX Group, Inc.

Copyright (C) 2014 MTNewswires.com. All rights reserved. Unauthorized reproduction is strictly prohibited.


This article appears in: Investing , Commodities

Referenced Stocks: KR

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